Republican Senators Have Voted To Cut $1.31 Trillion From Medicare

December 01, 2009 11:52 am ET

During Senate debate this morning, several Republican Senators took to the floor to encourage passage of the McCain amendment and to discuss their wrong interpretation of Medicare funding in the Democrats' health care reform legislation.  What is most interesting about this morning's debate is that these senators who falsely accused Democrats of cutting Medicare have themselves cut Medicare by $1.31 trillion during their collective tenure in Congress.

Senate Floor Statements At Odds With Years Of Voting In Favor Of Medicare Cuts

Republican Senators Alexander, Coburn, Crapo, Enzi, and McConnell spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the McCain amendment and against the Democratic health care reform legislation.

Voted To Cut Medicare By $6.4 Billion.  Senators Alexander, Coburn, Crapo, Enzi, McCain, and McConnell all voted in favor of the budget reconciliation bill that cut funding for Medicare by $6.4 billion by requiring that beneficiaries purchase medical equipment and cutting payments to home health care providers. The motion passed 50-50, with Vice President Cheney casting the deciding vote. [S. 1932, Vote #363, 12/21/05]

Cut $5.78 Billion From Medicare.  Senators Alexander, Coburn, Crapo, Enzi, McCain, and McConnell all voted in favor of passage of a Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Resolution that would cut $5.78 billion from Medicare. The legislation passed 52-47.  [S. 1932, Vote #303, 11/3/05]

Tabled An Amendment That Would Have Given The Sickest Seniors $12 Billion In Medicare Funding.  Senators Alexander, Crapo, Enzi, McCain, and McConnell all voted to table an amendment that would have allocated $12 billion for additional treatment for Medicare beneficiaries with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and disabilities. The motion to table passed 57-41. [S. 1, Vote #253, 6/26/03]

Voted To Put Needs Of Wealthy Americans Over The Needs Of American Seniors.  Senators Alexander, Crapo, Enzi, McCain, and McConnell all voted against an amendment that would reduce the enormous tax cut given to the wealthiest American tax payers in order to give a fair reimbursement to rural health care providers under Medicare. The amendment failed.  [SCR 23, Vote #89, 3/25/03]

Voted Against Increasing Medicare And Medicaid Funding By $4.1 Billion.  Senators Alexander, Crapo, Enzi, McCain, and McConnell all voted against a measure which would have increased funding for health care programs under Medicare and Medicaid by $4.1 billion. The motion was rejected 41-56. [HJR 2, Vote #21, 1/23/03]

Voted In Favor Of Cutting Medicare Nearly $160 Billion Over Six Years.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted to cut Medicare by $158.1 billion over six years.  First - the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Resolution that contained the cut and, Second - the same cut in the conference report.  Both passed 53-46. [H.C.R. 178, Vote #156, 5/23/1996; H.C.R. 178, Vote #159, 6/13/96]

  • Budget Cuts Included Reductions In Medicare, Medicare, Welfare, And Discretionary Spending.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted in favor of adopting of the conference report on the concurrent resolution to establish a six-year plan to balance the federal budget by 2002. Projected spending cuts over six years include $158.1 billion in Medicare, $72 billion from Medicaid, $53 billion from welfare and $297.9 billion from discretionary spending. The conference report passed 53-46. [HCR 178, Vote #159, 6/13/96]

Cut $270 Billion From Medicare.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted in favor of a budget that would cut Medicare by $270 billion. The budget passed.  [H.R. 2491, Vote #584, 11/17/1995; H.R. 2491, Vote #556, 10/27/1995; H.C.R. 67, Vote #296, 6/29/95]

Voted Against Reducing Medicare Cuts By $181 Billion In Favor Of Tax Cuts For The Wealthy.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted against a motion reducing cuts to Medicare by $181 billion by reducing tax cuts for upper income taxpayers. The motion was rejected 46-53. [S. 1357, Vote #499, 10/26/95]

Voted To Maintain Tax Cuts Instead Of Reducing Medicare Cuts By $100 Billion.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted against an amendment to reduce by $100 billion the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid by reducing tax cuts. The amendment failed 46-52. [S.C.R. 13, Vote #173, 5/22/95]

Voted To Preserve Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Instead Of Reducing Medicare Cuts By $181 Billion.    Senators McCain and McConnell voted against a motion reducing cuts to Medicare by $181 billion by reducing tax cuts for upper income taxpayers. The motion was rejected 46-53. [S 1357, Vote #499, 10/26/95]

Voted Against Increasing Medicare Payments To Hospitals By $4.5 Billion.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted against an amendment restoring $4.5 billion in payments under Medicare to hospitals that treat a disproportionate share of poor patients. The amendment failed 47-52. [S 1357, Vote #524, 10/27/95]

Voted In Favor Of Cutting $270 Billion From Medicare.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted to adopt the conference report on the fiscal 1996 budget resolution to put in place a seven-year plan to balance the budget by 2002 by cutting projected spending by $894 billion, including cuts of $270 billion from Medicare, $182 billion from Medicaid, $190 billion in non-defense spending, and $175 billion from various entitlement programs such as welfare. The conference report was agreed to 54-46. [HCR 67, Vote #296, 6/29/95]

Voted To Cut Medicare By $256 Billion.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted to adopt the resolution to adopt a seven-year budget plan that would balance the budget by 2002 by cutting projected spending by $961 billion of which $256 billion would come from Medicare, $175 billion from Medicaid, $190 billion from non-defense discretionary spending, and $209 billion from various entitlement programs. The concurrent resolution was agreed to 57-42. [SCR 13, Vote #232, 5/25/95]

Voted To Maintain Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Instead Of Reducing Medicare Cuts By $100 Billion.  Senators McCain and McConnell voted against an amendment to reduce by $100 billion the proposed cuts of $256 billion to Medicare and Medicaid by reducing tax cuts. The amendment failed 46-52. [SCR 13, Vote #173, 5/22/95]

Igor Volsky has more on McCain's rocky relationship with Medicare funding.

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